Limelight award for Folk Festival

The Aqua Ceilidh is a popular Stonehaven Folk Festival event (Picture Andy McAllan)
The Aqua Ceilidh is a popular Stonehaven Folk Festival event (Picture Andy McAllan)

Stonehaven Folk Festival starts today (Thursday) and found out this weekend they are the 27th recipients of the Limelight Award.

The award is organised by Hands Up for Trad a monthly initiative launched back in October 2012 that recognises outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today.

The award cited: “Stonehaven Folk Festival is a popular annual festival which also does great work within their community”.

Festival Chairman, Charlie West said: “It is a welcome recognition of all the hard work over the many years to develop and nurture the Festival to the very popular event it is today. The award is a great excuse for some celebration – after the festival”.

This year’s Festival has also sold out the three Town Hall concerts weeks before the event, another first. The festival has sold out for the last five years, but never so far in advance. With over 60 separate events planned by the Festival committee over the weekend there is still plenty to do. These include storytelling, workshops, sessions in local pubs bars and tea rooms, the Steenhive Big Sing, Artie’s Tartan Tales family show, The World Paper’n’Comb Championships, the Aqua Ceilidh and more.

There will also be two free afternoon concerts in the Market square featuring some of the Festival guests and local musicians and singers.

Tickets are still available for two late night concerts at the Royal British Legion, starting at 10.30 pm. On Friday night there is an Americana theme with Home Made Jam and Kate Lissauer. Kate, originally from Maryland, is a highly regarded exponent of American old-time country music. Kate has been performing and teaching for many years, and brings her knowledge and love of mountain, bluegrass and folk music to life through her passionate instrumental and vocal style.

On Saturday night at the Legion, there is a more local theme showcasing some of the young musicians that have their roots with the Festival, playing onstage in the past with the NE Folk Collective. They are the duo Ross Hull (fiddle) and Cameron Grant (guitar) and the band “Tannara” featuring Cameron Ross (fiddle), Becca Skeoch (Clarsach), Joseph Peach (Accordion) and Owen Sinclair on guitar and also.

Always a big part of the Festival is the Tradition Bearer’s concert featuring four of the best traditional singers. This year they have a firm favourite of the North East of Scotland, Norman Kennedy joined by Chris Hendry, Johnny Handle and Patricia Flynn.